And His Word Did Not Return Void!
When I was seven I went to my first week of summer Bible camp. During a service, the minister shared about committing your life to Christ. I wanted to but I wouldn't because in my young mind, all I could think about was my dad. He refused go to church with my mom and me and this would mean he wouldn't be going to heaven too. I couldn't bear to leave him behind because I loved him so much. I went back to my bunk that night and sobbed into my pillow and asked God to help me with my dilemma. I continued my faithful church experience but never read the Word and didn't spiritually grow because I didn't know about developing a personal relationship with Him.
When I was in my thirties, my dad had a heart attack and went into a coma for six days and nights. I stayed at the hospital day and night thru that time (I slept in a recliner in the hall outside intensive care). I thought about my Bible camp experience and I was concerned about my dad knowing Christ. I had never dared approach him on the subject and he sputtered about anyone who came to the door to share their faith.
I decided, while rubbing his arms and hands as he lay in his coma, to talk with him (in the event he could hear) and so I did. I talked about the Lord. I told him it was time for him to ask Jesus into his heart and to be Lord of his life so he could experience heaven and not hell. I said the prayer as I could best remember from my Bible camp experience and asked him to think the prayer after I said each sentence. I carried through with this ritual every day he lay there unconscious. On the 6th evening the heart specialist insisted I go home to rest and he promised I would be called if there was the slightest change.
We were called at 5 am and my husband, my mother and I went to the hospital, and were told that my dad had passed away. The doctor also told us, "It is unusual for me to do this, but I insisted that he not be touched or moved until you could come in to see him." He raised the sheet that lay over my father's face and there he was with a smile on his face and the dimples were still set in his cheeks." The doctor (who was 50-60 years himself) said I've never seen anything like this before.
My husband (who was not into spirituality either) and I felt this tremendous sense of peace and that my dad was present with us at the funeral home but that it clearly wasn't him lying in the casket - only a shell. It was the most incredible sense of knowing that you knew that he was with God but not something we could clearly understand or share on a level someone would believe.
About ten years after that, I moved to Florida and stumbled on a church that taught about relationship with God and needless to say, I became a student of The Word. I firmly believe my God heard that little seven-year-olds prayer and never left her side from that day forward. I am also convinced that my dad is in heaven today and that he rejoiced as the angels escorted him to heaven and hence, the smile on his face. "And His Word did not return void!
Brenda Ford Miller